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Open Access India Workshop: Partnering for a Socially Active Design Approach

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In December 2014, a group of 9 students from India (IISc), 8 students from China (UNNC) and 8 students from Germany (UC) met in Bangalore-India for an international design workshop, for approximately 2 weeks. Product Designers, Architects and Environmental Engineers formed an interdisciplinary team of 25 students and 5 staff who were hosted by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore. The workshop aimed at exploring how to effectively respond to established trends of building construction processes for housing in Karnataka (Southern India). Considerations on how to improve sanitation, waste management, thermal performance, and how to challenge these in light of community resources and needs, as much as design constraints were part of the brief. Rural and urban livelihoods were examined, where waste and traditional materials were to be understood as integral and alternative parts of India's contemporary building practices in urban and rural environments. Housing design refurbishment proposals were developed based on discussions and exchange amongst students and community members. Students led and transformed the brief, process and outcomes based on their experiences and understanding of what they experienced. This paper focuses on the ways in which such learning processes were tested, argued, challenged and developed within such intense few weeks, and how students have become contributors and socially active in the design process and outcomes.

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Keywords: ACTIVE DESIGNERS; CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN EDUCATION; DESIGN PROCESSES; SPATIAL DESIGN EDUCATION; TRANSFORMATIVE LEARNERS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2018

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